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Caritas steers young away from pitfalls

Special program aims to prevent the young from falling into a life of crime

Caritas steers young away from pitfalls
Youths attend a Caritas training program
Manik Joseph Costa, Rajshahi

March 25, 2011

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Caritas in northwest Bangladesh has held a special training program for youth leaders from several faiths to help them avoid social vices and crime. About 100 young people from across Rajshahi diocese attended the three-day inter-faith youth formation program which ended today. Activities highlighted ways for a modern day family to maintain its values. It also taught leadership and self-evaluation skills as well as self-employment strategies. The Caritas program was part of a countrywide venture being carried out across Bangladesh to counter growing violence and petty crime as well as drug use and other vices. “The crime rate is already double that of last year,” said program coordinator Kazi Raihan Zamil, a Muslim. “We’ve started this initiative to make young people aware of what they should or shouldn’t do to save themselves and their friends from many social vices,” he added. Another trainer, Suklesh George Costa, 47, a Catholic, said the program could help improve society. “I think this program offers youths a chance of self-evaluation and will make them agents that will make changes for the better in society,” he said. Participants said they found the program useful. “It’s not just the government; we are all responsible for building a better society. When I go back home I will be able apply self-formation techniques and tell my friends what I’ve learnt,” said Mozammel Haq, 21. Shikha Khakha, 19, said a lack of education and moral formation is behind many of society’s ills. “We have to be aware and make other people aware of what is wrong so we can do some good for society,” she said. BA13758.1646
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